"Whale Rider" - How and why the movie uses narrative structure

Essay by gr34tadi_daHigh School, 10th gradeA+, August 2007

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Whale Rider uses narrative structure in many forms to better describe the story to the viewer. It is used to link the plot together mainly using a number of different techniques including point of view, which is based on Pai because of her narrations, but is linked together with scenes of Koro, Nanny Flowers and Porourangi all having the point of view; conflict, with disagreements and argument all forming the story to come; and finally the way the story is divided into three main acts, which are linked together with narrations from Pai, and turning points in the story.

Point of View is used powerfully in this film, especially Pai's narrations, which blend in with the music and feel of the movie, which is at times sad, anxious or fervent. Even though the point of view is mainly based on Pai, we see parts of scenes which Pai cannot, for example Porourangi's argument with Koro when he returns from Germany.

Point of view changes in this story based on who the centre of attention is, or who the scene is targeting as the most 'important'character for that scene. Changing POV enhances the effect of showing thedifferent characters' feelings towards the situation, in this case Pai being a leader or future chief. It also helps to portray the disputes going on in thefamily where Pai isn't or is minimally involved, for example Porourangireturning and Koro's expectations of him to become the chief. The changes in point of view added another dimension to the story, because it did not onlyconcentrate on Pai, but used all the main characters' points of views to bring the plot to life.

Conflict was an important part of the movie, making up the main storyline and forming a plot which carried on right to the end of...